interview game, take VII

Questions from a new reader.
  1. What book have you read that you originally disliked--hated even--but at a later date reread and found that you in fact enjoyed?
    We're starting with a tough one. I don't think I've ever read a book all the way through, disliked (or hated) it, and then intentionally read it again. That's just...ugh. Life is too damned short.

    The best alternative answer I can come up with, though, is to say that there are some books that I've started reading, disliked (or hated), but stuck with, and at some point they've transformed into something wonderful. A few of these are very memorable. Totally worth reading.

    • A Canticle for Leibowitz (Walter Miller)--the best speculative fiction I've ever read. Science fiction for people who don't like science fiction.

    • The Reader (Bernhard Schlink)--World War II fiction is hard for me; my mind keeps yammering, "But it's not true!" even if the setting fascinates me more than any other. This is a doozy of a book. It left me reeling, once I got into it.

    • Three Junes (Julia Glass)--the worst book I've ever loved. Or the best book I've ever hated. I started it, forced myself through the first few chapters, and set it aside with extreme disinterest. A few months later, with nothing good to read, I picked it up again. Flipped through the beginning to reacquaint myself, and started reading in earnest from the point where I'd left off. I don't think I stopped until the book was done, and I loved it. The characters, setting, plot, theme, the dialog, everything. I wish I could go back in time to when I hadn't read it, just so I could experience that again.

  2. With nerds and geeks (apparently) becoming less stigmatized, what nerd/geek (from history or your experience) do you think would benefit from a benevolent reexamination of his or her standing as a nerd or a geek?
    That's easy: Sleek. The former IT guy at the place where I work. Not sure whether he self-identifies more as a nerd or geek, but he's a good one, and a good guy, and more well-rounded than previously believed. I think that the 'benevolent reexamination' is possible thanks to his transformation from "just" the IT guy to multi-faceted adult. He's a homeowner, dog-companion, boyfriend (no, not mine!), corporate jet traveler (yeah, not at that same job anymore, either), tornado chaser, beer-crafter, home renovator, soccer and hockey player, and all-around interesting person. And he almost always remembers to bring back a shot glass for me when he's away on business, which is remarkable given our somewhat rocky past. That's our Sleek: more than just the scowl in big shoes.

  3. If you were in Ireland right now, what would you be doing?
    I suppose that depends upon whether I was alone or had company, how long I could stay, and what my financial situation might be during my stay. If I paid for my transportation to Ireland right now, I'd be screwed, 'cause I'm fairly certain that couldn't pay to get back! But while we're being fanciful...
    I would be drinking, in whatever local drinking establishments I could find. And drinking whatever local brews came recommended by the locals, not some Americanized crap.

    I would be eating, bravely. I do not have a widely-traveled palate, but I would set it free and tell it to be adventurous. What came my way, I would try. Who knows what I could find?

    I would be photographing
    everything. I wouldn't want to waste my once-in-a-lifetime experience by hiding behind a camera and not really seeing what was before me, but at the same time I want to capture enough that there's something to look back on during those long hot days in the smelly, boring American Midwest. When I see the pictures, I remember how it feels.

    I would be writing. My journal would fill.

    I would be walking. How better to see it? And smell it? And feel it on my face?

    The biggest thing, the one thing that I want out of Ireland? I want to sit on a rock, and watch the water. Which water? Which rock? Which coast? Any. All. Whichever. I don't care. All of them. Whatever. That's not the point. I just
    wish I had a river.

  4. Your lease is up and you have decided to build a house. Cost is no object but you want a sensible house. What are the major features your house of practicality has?
    I've got to tell you, "sensible" and "practical" are difficult words for me to reconcile with the phrase "cost is no object."
    • 3 bedrooms
      • the master bedroom doesn't have to be huge, but I would like it large enough to have a dresser. I haven't had one (no room for one) in 6 years. If the master bedroom could be on the darkest, quietest corner of the house, that would be good, too.

      • a medium-sized bedroom that doubles as an office, with room for a bed and a desk setup that's not facing the bed. I'd never get anything done if I was staring at a bed all day when I'm supposed to be working.

      • another medium-sized bedroom that doubles as a library. I've heard some criticism that all the books in my bedroom are "intimidating."

    • a kitchen with windows. A gas range. A super-quiet dishwasher. A ridiculously well-insulated refrigerator that does not share a wall with the master bedroom.

    • a porch/patio/deck (for outdoor container plants)

    • generally: sunny, light rooms, and wall space for furniture and art

    • finished basement. I want a pool table again.

    • 2-car attached garage

    • if all of this could happen somewhere within view of the northern Mississippi, so much the better

  5. What's the best scoring Scrabble word you can use to describe yourself? Feel free to place your letters anywhere on the board, but you can only use 7 letters.
    Presuming the word "ion" has been placed (this is Scrabble, after all, so I've got to hook those 7 letters to something!), and that the letter "O" is using a Double-Letter Score between two Triple Word Scores (and there are no other letters already placed between those Scores), I am 'functional'. This would net 185 points: 15 for the initial tile score, multiplied by 3 (45), multiplied by 3 (135) for the double-triple, plus 50 for using all seven tiles. 185.

    Lame descriptor, but kick-ass Scrabble word!

The Official Interview Game Rules
1. If you want to participate,
leave a comment below saying "interview me."
2. I will respond by asking you five questions--
each person's will be different.
3. You will update your journal/blog
with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation
and an offer to interview others in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed,
you will ask them five questions.


  1. Hmm, why Ireland? You'd love it though...

    You are being FAR too practical in that house: you need at least one room JUST for books, for reading, for writing, for space. A big room. With windows overlooking water.

    On the other hand, you left out the requirement of very good HVAC and air circulation.



  2. Ireland, I suspect, because it's always on the list when I muse about dream vacations.

    The ideal, ideal house (less practical, more fanciful) would indeed have a just-library. And you are totally right, I forgot that the heating and cooling needs to be state of the art, silent, and deadly efficient. No more 747 in my entryway!

  3. Amy is correct. Ireland is a recurring theme and I wanted to get a picture of why she did.

    Cooling can be very important sometimes but it's never required.

  4. "Rose Tung": "Death is sad, but even more sad to live unhappy."